The New Orleans Police Department on Tuesday announced the arrests of two 16 year olds - both wearing ankle monitoring devices - in connection with the murder of 35-year-old pizza delivery driver Richard Yeager.
The shooting and carjacking occurred early Monday morning in the 2800 block of Saint Louis Street.
The suspects are not being identified because they are juveniles. Both will be booked with first-degree murder.
NOPD Interim Chief Michael Harrison said the suspects were arrested Monday night at the corner of Pine and Forshey streets. Police obtained a search warrant and went to the home of one of the teens. Following a brief foot chase, police took both into custody. Detectives located Yeager's car nearby.
Detectives also learned that one of the two was also on scene of an armed robbery that occurred Saturday on Newcomb Boulevard.
According to the 50-year-old victim in that incident, she was approached by three black males as she pulled into her driveway and got out of her car. One of the suspects, who was armed, demanded the victim's purse and car keys. The victim screamed and the suspect struck her with the gun. The victim said she fell to the ground and the suspects took her purse and her silver 2008 Volvo.
A short time later, detectives located the vehicle at Hollygrove and Birch. Based on the tracking history of the electronic monitoring device, police were able to connect the juvenile as one of the suspects.
"Solid police work and incredible teamwork among the First and Second Districts, Homicide Unit and Special Operations Division led to this quick arrest," Harrison said. "This investigation is not over and we will continue to work around the clock until everyone involved in this senseless killing is brought to justice. I urge anyone with information on the incident to call the NOPD or Crimestoppers immediately."
A Domino's Pizza representative said half of the proceeds from all sales at the 402 N. Carrollton store this week will go directly to the Yeager family. He said there has already been an outpouring of support from the community.
The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, which oversees the monitoring program, sent the following statement:
The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office confirmed that a juvenile arrested in connection with the death of a pizza delivery driver was enrolled in the OPSO Electronic Monitoring Program and that the EMP system was used to build a case and affect an arrest.
This past Saturday, OPSO received an alert through the Omnilink system that an EMP client, who is a juvenile, had left a restricted area in violation the rules of the program. An OPSO deputy assigned to the EMP made an unsuccessful attempt to contact the EMP client, who was originally detained for unauthorized use of a movable, traffic violations and resisting arrest. Efforts to reach the client's mother, who is his legal guardian, were also unsuccessful.
The deputy received a second alert at 11:15 p.m. Saturday that the EMP client had returned to the restricted area. The deputy reached the client on Sunday morning and issued a reprimand and placed the client under strict geographic restrictions until the deputy could meet with a Juvenile Court judge on Monday, Sept. 22.
"The reprimand and geographic restriction used by the deputy follows progressive corrective guidelines established by the National Institute of Justice for juvenile clients," said Chief Deputy Jerry Ursin.
About 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, OPSO was alerted that the client had again violated program rules, but was back in compliance just before 1 a.m. Monday, Sept. 22. On Monday morning, the deputy applied to the Juvenile Court judge for an arrest warrant for the weekend curfew violations. The judge issued the warrant Monday afternoon.
Armed with the arrest warrant, law enforcement personnel from OPSO and NOPD began looking for the juvenile. Using crime scene correlation software, the NOPD was able to build its case and arrest the juvenile. A second juvenile wearing a monitoring device was also arrested, however, that juvenile's monitoring device was not part of OPSO's Electronic Monitoring Program.